Trackhunter's Record Labels to Watch in 2023
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Xmas is a distant memory and the debris from countless Xmas Eve parties have been swept away as we turn our attention to yet another year. 2023 feels quite futuristic, but then again so did 2001 and that’s a generation ago. Looking ahead to the coming year it’s hard to say which independent labels will rise and fall and it’s likely that the indie music industry will face yet another turbulent year. So where possible, support the labels who continue to deliver incredible, cutting edge music for your listening pleasure. Here’s a few of the labels we expect to hear more great sounds in the coming 12 months.
Swedish based G.A.M.M. records are one of those labels that always catches my eye and ear, as experience has taught me they know their onions when it comes down to releasing great music. In 2022 they celebrated their 20th year with a small but superb selection of releases and 2023 looks like another good year as label stalwart Al Kent delivers GAMM 166 with Stranger Danger. Three tracks that range in style from the jazz house hybrid title track to the cinematic, funky ‘Galaxy 21’. Added to that are a trio of 7 inch hip hop mashups titled Wipe The Needle part one to three and twelves from Black Truffle and Rawson. No doubt starting well out of the blocks for this ever dependable label.
Music From Memory
Jamie Tiller and Tako Reyenga’s Music From Memory has steadily chipped away doing its own thing over the last decade with a focus on long players of timeless electronics and ambient masterpieces. With eye catching artwork and a notable back catalogue behind them, 2023 might just be another year of wonderful outputs from the Amsterdam based label. Last year they also found time to raise funds for the Red Cross based in Ukraine with their superb Music For Freedom digital compilation. This year they start really strongly with Gaia: Selected Ambient & Downtempo Works 1996-2003, a double album from the mysterious Dream Dolphin who released almost 20 albums in that short period. This is a stunning start to 2023 and a must have album for fans of proper ambient music.
Erol Alkan’s imprint had a very productive 2022 with notable releases from Daniel Avery, Mystery Jets, Red Axes, Cromby and Duran Duran. No doubt it was an incredible coup for the Phantasy label boss to rework the 1980s synth poster boys to deliver a sultry, chugging, alternative rock remix. 2023 kicks off with Terr’s electro-pop styled Only For Tonight on vibrant yellow vinyl.
Fatty Fatty Phonographics
After a three year hiatus, the oddly named Fatty Fatty Phonographics reappeared last year with volume 5 of their DownToundSounds Classics that was a double header of disco, funk gems. They return in 2023 with another brace of disco re-edit action as Sadar Bahar and Marc Davis dust off two obscure grooves with the A side track ‘Disco’ a classy, TSOP sounding, orchestral disco banger. The flip side is a luscious cut of sun-drenched, vibrant percussion and piano driven Latin tune. A timeless double header and hopefully it won’t be another three years before we hear anything else from FFP.
Stuart Leath’s Emotional Rescue announced itself on the scene back in 2011 with a much needed re-issue of Bob Chance’s wildly proto disco classic ‘It’s Broken’. Since then the label has mined the lesser known regions of reggae, jazz, funk, boogie and soul, to name just a few genres. As the label says, it is a: ‘reissue label for lost or forgotten tracks, remastered and pressed on vinyl with love’. 2022 was a strong year with a focus on the 12 inch format, and continues that thread into 2023. Forthcoming releases from ADU and Mataya as well as a super 10 inch from German reggae dubsters, The Vision. Also worth noting is Leath’s electronic focused Emotional Response label which released the excellent Roy Of The Ravers’ Emotinium 12 inch last year.
Is It Balearic? Recordings
Well if anyone knows whether a track is truly Balearic, it’s these guys from Nottingham and hopefully as the sun starts to rise again in 2023 we know this label will shine again. 2022 was a good one with Coyote delivering two golden 12 inch cuts towards the back end of the year. Already for 2023 you can expect hot new releases from Statues, Coco De La Isla and a fantastic quartet of mixes as part of Ali Renault’s Piano For The People.
Heading towards its 30th year in the business, Ralph Lawson’s impressive 20:20 Vision imprint has long been a stronghold for quality house, techno and electro. Numerous releases in 2022 and another offshoot with Fragments Of Reality and Fragments Of Reality Volume 4 out in 2023 with four artists delivering quality deep house. 2023 also sees a reissue of Crazy P’s When We On long player, originally pressed in 2011 on 20:20 Vision, it’s brought back into focus and highlights how consistent this Nottingham based group have been over the years.
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